Longhorns grab region title with win over Pickens

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Marengo Academy (19-11, 11-1) clinched the region crown Tuesday with a 12-0 win over Pickens, avenging its only area loss of the season in the process.

“I’ve been pumping them up for this game since our last region game. We played intense from the first pitch to the last pitch,” Marengo Academy head coach Jonathan Lindsey said. “We’ve had some games where we didn’t play well, but our kids, for the most part, took care of business in the region.”

The Longhorns started off the scoring in the bottom of the first when Matt Etheridge doubled before coming around to score on a Wood Collins RBI groundout. MA carried that 1-0 lead into the bottom of the third when it put distance between itself and Pickens. In that frame, the Longhorns plated six runs, getting RBIs from Etheridge, Chris Sammons and Michael Martin and runs from Etheridge, Sammons, Collins, Weldon Fultz, Matt Wallace and Chase Smyly. The Longhorns’ starting center fielder, Smyly worked his way out of a slump in a big way, recording a single and a double in the third inning.

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“Chase has been struggling at the plate the last couple games, but he worked hard and he is the type of kid that, once he gets a big hit, he’s going to stay hot,” Lindsey said.

Marengo added five more runs in the bottom of the fourth, getting scores from Fultz, Collins, Wallace, Martin and Jacob Dunn as well as an RBI from Smyly and two from Dunn.

A sophomore in his first year with the team, Dunn did his best work of the day on the mound. The Longhorn hurler tossed five shutout innings, striking out seven while surrendering only two hits and no walks.

“With him only throwing 59 pitches in the game, he was ready,” Lindsey said. “I knew with him coming out and throwing only six pitches in the first, he had his stuff.”

The Longhorns will hold their Senior Night festivities Monday when they host Clarke-Prep in their final regular season game of the year.